4954 N. Shamrock Place, Tucson, AZ 85705

House Centipede

Scutigera coleoptrata

House Centipede

Physical Features

House centipedes have long, flattened and segmented bodies with one pair of legs per segment attached to the sides of their body. They grow up to 1 plus inches in length, have 15 pairs of long, thin legs with dark and white bands, are brown to grayish-yellow, have three longitudinal dark stripes on top, well-developed eyes, and poison jaws connected to poison glands used to kill insects.

Life Cycle

Gradual metamorphosis
House centipedes lay an average of 60 eggs in the spring or early summer.  The larva hatch with four pairs of legs and will complete 5 instars increasing the number of leg pairs they have each time 5,7,9,11, and 13 pairs.  They will complete four instars after the larva stage before becoming adults.


  • Diet: Feed on small insects, larvae, and spiders
  • Activity: Nocturnal
  • Preferred Climate: Damp, temperate environments
  • Defense: Venom and speed
  • Cautions: Considered harmless to people but will possibly bite. Venom could cause pain similar to a bee sting. Allergic reaction is possible.
  • Home Invasion: Will live indoors or outdoors.  Inside they will inhabit areas in a home they can find moisture: bathrooms, cellars, stacks of firewood, etc.

Helpful Hints

  • Eliminate moisture in or near the home that could attract centipedes.
  • Clean possible food sources.
  • Recommend regular pest control service plan.

Interesting Facts

The last pair of legs serve to wrap around their prey.


Inflammation and pain can last for a few hours.

Nesting Sites

Often found around the foundation of houses and other buildings, usually through thresholds or gaps in the foundation.